When the weather turns cool and the snow starts to fall, we can look forward to holiday get-togethers and traditional festivities. But, unfortunately, colder weather also means cold and flu season is upon us.
Yes, the holiday season does bring us candy canes and presents. But it can also bring us the sniffles and days stuck in bed if we start to feel under the weather.
Fortunately, there are some foods that are jam-packed with immune-supporting nutrients that can help you stay healthy when the weather starts to dip.
Along with practicing good hand hygiene, exercising, and managing stress in a healthy way, making a point to include these foods in a balanced and healthy diet may help your body stay healthy and strong all year long.
Regardless of whether you are a flank steak lover or a prime rib aficionado, if you are a beef eater, you should take comfort in the fact that you are already loading your body up with key immune-supporting nutrients. One important mineral, zinc, has been shown to reduce the severity and duration of a cold when consumed in adequate amounts. Enjoying a satisfying hamburger or a decadent filet mignon can be not only a delicious way to end the day, but it can also be a way to give your body immune-supporting nutrients in a simple way.
Salmon is one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids, a nutrient that has been linked to a supported immune system. Plus, this popular fish is one of the few food sources of vitamin D – another immune-supporting superstar.
High-quality protein is a power player in the immune-supporting world, and foods like chicken are chock-full of this nutrient. Including high-quality organic chicken breasts in your diet can give your body the boost it needs – and help you stay healthy too!
When people think of immune-supporting nutrients, vitamin C often comes to mind. It is true that vitamin C plays an important role in immune health, so eating natural sources of this vitamin, like oranges, can be a simple way to give your health a boost.
Pro tip: If you are enjoying holiday cocktails, include some 100% orange juice in your concoction for a boost of vitamin C while you sip away.
Enjoying your protein source, like beef, salmon, or chicken, with a sweet potato on the side can give your body a balanced supply of immune-enhancing nutrients. The natural orange color found in these potatoes is due to the beta carotene content of this veggie. A natural antioxidant, beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body, and in turn, can do its job of helping the immune system function properly.
A Healthy Holiday Season
Nobody wants to be stuck in bed nursing a cold during the holiday season. And while there is no magic bullet to completely preventing a cold or the flu, including certain nutrient-dense foods in your overall healthy diet may help your body manage an illness a bit more effectively.
For high-quality protein sources that are delivered right to your front door, Greensbury Market is a fantastic solution that can help you stock your freezer with zinc-rich beef, omega 3 fatty acid-rich salmon, and protein-rich chicken to help support your immune system in a delicious way.
Written by Lauren Manaker for Greensbury Market, Corp.
Lauren Manaker is an award-winning registered dietitian based in Charleston, South Carolina. She earned a bachelor's degree and master's degree in human nutrition and is passionate about helping people achieve their nutrition goals. She currently acts as a consultant, food blogger, and freelance writer for outlets including Eating Well and POPSUGAR. When Lauren isn't working, she is enjoying the outdoor life with her daughter, husband, and rescue-pup.